A family Christmas is something we all aspire too. Beautifully decorated tree, the smell of mulled wine mingling with a turkey roasting in the oven, happy children playing with new toys and tuneful carol singers outside in gently falling snow. The reality can be somewhat different as winter weather is often of the wet and windy variety confining children to the house, which then leads to boredom, even with the new toys that Santa has brought for them
The run up to Christmas can be just as bad, as excitement reaches fever pitch, the bank balance is running on empty and the chance of peace and quiet is about as achievable as having botox in Edinburgh! It’s time to get the kids busy and creative leaving Mum the chance to at least have a short pampering session for the festive season parties.
Card and Present Making
Homemade cards can be very special to grandparents who will treasure them for years, so invest in some thin card, glitter and paint and let the kids express their creativity at the kitchen table. Printing off some photos of the children at the computer can give them hours of fun as they ‘photo-shop’ their own photos, drawing Christmas hats and festive decorations onto the cards and whilst this can be a messy exercise it will certainly occupy little fingers.
Speaking of little fingers, a lovely present idea is having a child’s handprint painted and varnished onto a decorative plate at one of the many pottery and craft workshops in the UK. It will serve as a special memento for years to come. Older children may enjoy decorating their own china Christmas decorations that can be proudly displayed on the family tree for years to come.
Taking the kids outdoors for a nature walk can be made more interesting by searching for holly, ivy and berries to make wonderful natural looking decorations. Of course, berry picking comes with strict instructions not to try eating them!! Older kids can try making wreaths to hang on the front door, by using garden wire and a little help from Dad, or utilise wire coat hangers to make decorations similar to the ones we adults used to make along with the cast of ‘Blue Peter.’
These can occupy children for hours as they ponder over pictures to put behind the windows. The older children will enjoy going through magazines for suitable pictures whilst the little ones love gluing them on to the background card. A joint effort in creating the large outer picture will keep them all amused. A little adult help may be required to cut out the windows successfully. Perhaps Dad can be enlisted whilst Mum has a well-earned soak in a luxurious bath!
Christmas is definitely a time for children, so to avoid squabbles upsetting the festive spirit, stock up beforehand on craft supplies to ensure home life remains harmonious. And a good tip for after-Christmas activities is to get in some plain card and envelopes and have the children decorate their own notelets for those all-important thank you letters.
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